Campus Life

University of Cincinnati Blue Ash Dental Hygiene Clinic


Many students know that UC Blue Ash offers a selective dental hygiene program, but not too many students know that they can utilize this clinic and receive dental treatment at a student rate of ten dollars.

“Brightening Smiles for more than 50 Years” (UCBA Clinic) Located in Walters hall on the far end on the first floor, UC Blue Ash’s very own dental hygiene clinic has been open and operating preparing their students since 1967 to become dental hygienists, and it is the largest and one of the most established dental hygiene programs in Ohio.

The clinic is open from September to April by appointment only and provides these treatments:

  • Health History (including Blood Pressure Screening)
  • Oral Cancer Screening
  • Periodontal Assessment
  • Oral Hygiene Education (including home care products)
  • Radiographs (X-rays)
  • Tooth Desensitization
  • Local Anesthetic
  • Oral Prophylaxis (scaling, root planning and polishing)
  • Fluoride Treatment
  • Cleaning of dentures
  • Smoking Cessation Education
  • Nutritional Counseling

For details, see the UCBA Clinic site.

Student Emily Armstrong

Students in the dental hygiene program will see patients in the Cincinnati community and provide them with services while being overseen by professors and dentists. Emily Armstrong is a second year student in UC’s Dental Hygiene Program, and she began seeing her patients in clinic in the spring 2019 semester.

What type of patients do you normally see in the clinic?

“I can see patients ages three and up, this semester I can see pretty much anyone who needs a cleaning, even if they haven’t been to the dentist in over fifteen years. We have specific instruments to use on patients with different oral health issues such as gingivitis (gum inflammation) or periodontal disease (gum infection). Last semester I saw mostly close friends who came in for their regular cleaning which allowed me to get used to how the clinic runs daily.”

Do you think many students utilize the dental hygiene clinic?

“I have overheard some UC students talking about wanting to make appointments at the clinic, but I don’t think they utilize it as much as we would like them too. Not many students realize how convenient it is.”

How long do appointments usually take?

“Appointments usually take the whole three to four hours. We do a lot of preventative screenings to make sure our patient is in good oral health and that there is no need to make any treatment modifications. There are also ‘check steps’ that we follow to keep the appointments flow nicely.”

When is usually the busiest time of the year that you see patients?

“There is a thing called the ‘White Book’ and patients that do not have insurance or a regular dentist call into the clinic to set up appointments with the hygiene students; this happens all year. Patients are constantly calling in every day. Some days there are more than others. Our students are not allowed to go into the White Book and call them to make appointments when needed.”

What is your favorite thing about the hygiene clinic?

“My favorite thing about the hygiene clinic is that even though our students are stressed, the environment is fun and relaxing. Music is playing throughout appointments and once you are with your patient that’s all that matters.”

Is there anything about the clinic that not everyone would know from the website?

“Even though there is a lot of information on the website, you’ll get patients that are confused about how long the appointments take. They are not used to getting their teeth cleaned for four hours so it is important to tell them why it takes so long and that it will be worth it in the end.”

UC Blue Ash also hosts an event called Community Dental Day, where members in the community eighteen years and older can receive free dental care from UC Blue Ash’s students and faculty, and local dentists and hygienists; this year it will take place on March 6, 2020 beginning at 8 am. Emily has not experienced Dental Day yet but will be attending this following year.

How do you think Community Dental Day impacts the community?

“I’ve heard that it is a great experience that serves a lot of patients who are in deep need of cleaning/screenings.”

How has working in the dental hygiene clinic impacted you as a student?

“As students we get too caught up in our grades and worrying about if we are going to pass or not, but I’ve realized how much we can change someone’s life just by letting them know something about their oral health that they didn’t know they had. You could potentially save a life just by asking someone to come in for a cleaning. It sounds a little dramatic when I say that, but I had a patient come in who has never had any heart issues, and when I took his blood pressure it was really high, so he went to the doctor. It’s the little things that count because in the end, it is a big difference in the patient’s life.”

Students can call 513-745-5630 to schedule an appointment at the clinic, payment must be made in the form of a credit card, check, or money form at the time of the appointment.

About Sophia Lauer

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